Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:27 pm on 22nd February 2017.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 3:27 pm, 22nd February 2017

I am happy to confirm that to my hon. Friend. Appeals are a vital part of the system. Businesses must feel that the system has integrity. If they feel for any reason that their valuation could be wrong, it is right that they should be in a position to challenge it. If anything, I want to make the process more transparent and easier for businesses that have a valid reason.

For example, the changes that we have introduced through the valuation office will allow some smaller businesses to go online to check their valuation. If they are in any doubt, they will be able to contact the valuation office directly, either online or through other forms of direct contact, and get the valuation reviewed very quickly. Contrary to the view of some out there that we want to make it harder, I am determined to make sure that businesses have a proper way to challenge the system, because it is their right to do so.

I must conclude, because I want to make sure that colleagues have enough time for debate. This local government finance settlement honours our commitment to four-year funding certainty for councils that are committed to reform; it recognises the costs of delivering adult social care and makes more funding available sooner; and it puts local councillors in the driving seat with a commitment to support them with a fairer funding formula. I commend it to the House.